By Leonie Saunders
Recently I was asked by a friend and much-respected comrade what my thoughts were on the involvement of Western powers in the Middle East: from the sale of arms to ISIS, to our grubby alliance with the barbarous Saudis, to the use of chemical agents by the West in theatres of war (i.e Napalm and Agent Orange), and to the recent bombing raids by the U.S. Britain and France in Syria – with Trump arrogantly proclaiming it as necessary to teach Bashar al-Assad a lesson.
While giving the necessary thought that the subject deserved prevented me from responding immediately, nevertheless I finally began writing my thoughts a few days ago and despite Robert Fisk’s edifying revelations in the meantime; my analysis stands.
I stated when I wrote on (my Facebook group) Connecting the Dots at the time the Russians were accused by the British Prime Minister of using a nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate a former double dealing spook in the U.K., and that I can only surmise who was responsible for the crime. Likewise, I have to say if there was a chemical attack in Douma, I do not know who was behind it any more than I know for sure who poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Nevertheless, for my two bobs worth, as a keen observer of patterns in human behaviour and as a person who knows sophistry when I hear it, there is no doubt in my mind that the political application of chaos theory is at play.
There is nothing, nada, zilch taking place in the machinations of geopolitics today that is free of a capitalist agenda. From Russia’s self-interested oligarchs, and Putin’s strategic cunning that underpins Russia’s alliances with Syria and Iran, to the travesty of the West’s actions in the Middle East and elsewhere at the hands of supercilious freeloading hustlers, posing as leaders. That leaders without scruples have the temerity to insult us by placing hands on hearts as if they are the arbiters of morality, causes me anger but it is a positive anger as it works to concentrate my focus.
We should all be wary of those who show a visceral distrust of humanity. This manifest dislike lurks in the private character of all right-wing mercenaries is writ large in politics. The attitude of today’s mercenary class when in government is on display in how hostile they are to intellectuals. In truth there is no exaggeration in saying that the right-wing elite have an innately negative predisposition. It revealed in many ways not least of all as hard-hearted indifference to the suffering of the ‘other’. History shows that when those in power are devoid of compassion, the safety of freedom-loving innocent citizens everywhere is under threat. This is as true today as it was with the rise of fascism pre-WW2.
The right-wing establishments unending warmongering and their capacity for hubris and hypocrisy quite literally turns my stomach. While in public, the likes of Trump, May, and Turnbull dare to claim the moral high ground as they sermonise about rights and freedom, arguing that it is imperative that all nation states adhere to the rule of law. Yet behind closed doors they surreptitiously green light the activities of their filthy rich arms trader mates, and sanction their covert operatives on the ground to supply all manner of weaponry to listed terrorist organisations. Leaving innocent women and children exposed to even greater dangers from all sides.
The West’s unrelenting involvement in the Middle East highlights the prescience of Eisenhower when in his seminal farewell speech in 1961. He warned Americans to be on guard to the pernicious influence of the burgeoning Military Industrial Complex. Sadly, I suspect that by the time Eisenhower gave his retirement speech, corruption in the U.S. had already began to make its way to becoming systemic.
Fast forward to today and there is certainly enough evidence that the checks and balances that British, U.S. and Australian citizens rely on have been irreparably compromised, thus proving none of us are safe from the machinations of self-interested, cold-hearted elites. They are especially dangerous when elected to government. It is then that they become hell bent on doing whatever it takes to succeed in their quest for more and more power and profit. This is why nothing that any of them do to innocent civilians comes as a surprise to me.
Looking at the exploits of the power elite in the oil and gas rich Middle East and a pattern of behaviour becomes quite evident. To put it in a nut shell, they lie. They lied about Saddam Hussein’s hidden stockpile of chemical weapons to justify invading Iraq. Iraq being the first of the dominoes to fall made targeting Gaddafi in Libya all the more easier. They are, if nothing else, predictable. Take for example the big bad wolf using chemical weapons on the innocent scenario. It worked for them before, so it was only natural for them to use it again. It is reasonable that they would have anticipated a level of public doubt. But of course, with the media’s support, it’s manageable. And with no independent Western journalist on the ground like there was in Vietnam. There is little likelihood of nonpartisan reporters telling us how many casualties there were as a consequence of U.S. bombs being dropped on strategic targets somewhere in Syria.
‘Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity’ may very well be the only truth behind the chaos these wretched warmongers manufacture. They will stop at nothing to overthrow the Syrian Government. Their idea is to do just as they’ve done in Iraq. If it all pans out, they will install a puppet president who will open the way for the 1% to exploit Syria’s oil and gas resources. Then it’s on to Iran! Argh, but wait … maybe not. Not if Putin has any say in it; and he does!
‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ strategy that forms part of the U.S.A’s strategic policy agenda in the Middle East was obviously developed without any input of experts in Middle Eastern history and culture. That their actions suggest knowledge was superfluous to their needs is symptomatic of the smugness that undermines the capacity for logic in those with power. Then again, why bother with knowledge when superior military power is what they rely upon to keep the wheels of the Military Industrial Complex well-oiled.
A wise leader would know to successfully make allies in the Middle East. Learning the history of religious and cultural complexities in each region would be prerequisite. Making friends of one’s enemy’s enemy is always tenuous, so wisdom and logic combined would suggest this ought be factored in long before banging the drums of war and sounding the charge. Odds on, if Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq and Afghanistan were asked’ “Do Western technocrats, and military commanders have the wisdom, knowledge and the skills required to navigate sensitive cultural landscapes where hostility exists between divergent religious sects?”, I reckon belly laughs would ensue.
Ultimately what matters is the blood dripping from the hands of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ that gave rise to Al-Qaeda and ISIS has meant that the enemy of my enemy is my friend strategy has no benefit to civilians in worn torn regions. Nor for us in the West. Innocent civilians will continue to be terrorised whether it is by religious zealots, alt-right fascist or at the hands of the 1% with shares in the Military Industrial Complex.
The merry-go-round of Western intervention guarantees bombs and other instruments of war will take lives in Syria today and elsewhere tomorrow. And as per normal, well normal for them. The war machine driven for economic advantage can make for strange bedfellows. Trying to guess who Donald and Teresa will seek to cuddle up to next is analogous of a soap opera. But even in soap operas, some things don’t change. The storyline will remain the same so long as Assad stands between them and the energy resources they covet. They will stop at nothing to topple their nemesis.
There is little doubt that every rapidly escalating act of aggression in this region invariably involves the Saudis, the Americans, the British, and the Israelis. Albeit for different reasons they are united in working together to exact revenge and destabilise the region. They do so by way of direct involvement of their covert agencies supplying weapons or indirectly by way of third parties.
Take for instance the latest deceit. With British, U.S. and French spooks in the region, it is reasonable to suggest that the residence of #10 Downing Street, the White House and Palais de l’Élysée knew only too well that as the highly respected correspondent Robert Fisk exposed this week; there was no chemical attack in Douma. I also suspect the absolute arrogance of May, Trump, Macron et al, led them to believe they would not be exposed for the lie that underpinned their justification for last week’s retaliatory attack.
Much is said about the dictatorial character of Assad. Which is a tad ironic given that by bombing Syria without consulting their respective Parliaments Trump, May and Macron are in effect autocrats thumbing their noses at democracy. As well as ignoring the United Nations Security Council mandate and the internationally agreed upon rules governing war and conflicts between member States. One can only hope their imperious arrogance will be their downfall.
We know that when it comes to the U.S. exercising aggression, under the 1973 War Powers Act, power is vested in the President. Thus as Commander and Chief POTUS can act as a quasi-dictator as he or she can initiate an attack on another sovereign nation without first consulting the United States Congress. So too can British Prime Ministers; they are also not bound by law to consult with the Parliament prior to making such decisions. Nevertheless, out of respect for the Parliament, British Prime Ministers have traditionally done so.
Therefore, it is quite telling that a tradition loving conservative Prime Minister did not consult the Parliament, and when challenged after the fact she used trite excuses for not doing so. Obviously, Teresa May knew she would have to face questions from Labour Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, and knowing it is political suicide to be caught lying to the Parliament, she deemed it preferable to disrespect tradition. The reasons she gave for doing so were as suspected by we lefties – and now confirmed by Robert Fisk – totally unjustified. That being the case, the monsters are prime ministers and presidents who totally devoid of conscience, can mount an attack on another country simply to divert attention from domestic troubles in the hope of improving their stocks as leaders.
Think about this in context to the amorphous war on terror. Every thinking person knows, the ill-defined war on terror is a by-product of the lengths the West’s sanctimonious leaders will go to serve their particular political agenda; whatever that may be. Aside from Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn, there was no stern voices coming from Opposition quarters in the US, France, or for that matter here in Australia. Certainly, in the lead up to the attacks there were no voices in the mainstream media that challenged the proposed actions of this deplorable alliance. Surely, we as civilised people should be demanding a balance of voices! Why weren’t voices against the proposed attacks given a readily accessible public platform prior to the U.S. unleashing the dogs of war to wreak havoc on the people of Syria?
From my perspective the things that ought to send shivers down the spine of all freedom-loving people around the world is how May, Trump and Macron et al can act as they have without any evidence of an actual chemical attack on the citizens of Douma. They can do this and get away with it simply because unlike the brave journalists who in accordance with their professional integrity to report the facts accurately without fear or favour, lived up to their public obligation by revealing the truth behind the Vietnam War. Whereas today in Britain, the USA and even more so here in Australia, the general population remains ill-informed because right-wing shock jokes and overly ambitious, typically vacuous news journalists hostile to unions dominate our TV screens and airwaves. Ergo, one of the very essential checks on power is diminished. Thus the overall decline in quality journalism over the past two or more decades is a direct consequence of the filthy rich fat cats at the big end waging union busting class warfare.
The reasons that today’s journalists are unquestioningly compliant to the implicit demands of their bosses involve union busting. But that is a topic for another day. Nevertheless, in light of that – and the fact that media owners and their affiliates have vested interest in the oil and gas business and that Syria is rich in these resources – it is not happenstance that right across the mainstream media, journalist willingly depict Assad with a scripted big bad wolf narrative.
Again, I reiterate there is nothing, nada, zilch taking place in geopolitics today, including the use of chemical warfare that is free of a capitalist agenda. All things considered, it doesn’t take a degree in forensic research to recognise the big bad wolf narrative promulgated via Western media news outlets is driven by greed and self-interest.
No-one – not even his enemies – would describe Bashar al-Assad as being unintelligent. Therefore, it made no sense to me at all that an intelligent leader who has been fighting to save his country from the religious tyranny of ISIS, and assorted fundamentally disparate groups of rebels, would decide to attack the citizens of Douma when his army was on the verge of winning the war. It is absolutely nonsensical.
That Teresa May, Trump, and Macron et al, including our Prime Minister think it acceptable to bomb and kill innocent civilians in Syria or elsewhere in the world demonstrates the characteristic wickedness that is common in the upper echelons of power. With Pine Gap making us a target, it is indeed worrisome that regardless of which political party is in office, Australian governments without question will wear a leash, euphemistically called an alliance and continue to behave as loyal lap dogs. This country’s political class will follow along looking to their American masters for scraps of information and be satisfied with the occasional pat on the head during official visits.
The idea that they can justify bombing Syria to teach Assad a lesson on the basis of what amounts to pure supposition flies in the face of reason. While it is axiomatic that rational people of good conscious smell the lie in the actions of these unworthy leaders. It is nevertheless the preparedness of the mainstream media to propagate the lie makes a mockery of democracy.
Bearing motives in mind, given war and the relentless pursuit of more power and profit by the world’s capitalist elite facilitated by fellow elites in right wing governments go hand in glove, it is inconceivable that Western military intervention on foreign shores will ever come to an end.
So unless civilised peoples across the globe utterly reject the innately predatory behaviour of the world’s mercenary-minded capitalist elites and their pernicious profit making schemes, the constant threat of war will inevitably take its toll it on humanity and the predetermined path of imploding Capitalism will take the best of civilisation down with it.
Ok ok, if you’ve gotten this far you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all doom and gloom; but it’s not. Aphorisms such as ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ stand the test of time for a reason. For me as a Democratic Socialist Newton’s third law, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction is where hope resides. The demise of capitalism can’t come soon enough for my liking. Time has to be on the side of the world’s best and brightest Socialists. ‘Cause only the best and brightest Socialists acting in solidarity across the world will end wars and mitigate the worst effects of climate change. And in so doing our children and our children’s children will be free to live without fear.
Time is running out, folks.